Bright spark brings buzz the Coast
THERE is fire in the sky in near Robina CBD.
Robina scientist Claire Arthur has saved a firefly population from destruction.
And almost as a sign of appreciation to her, the creatures have brought an incandescent buzz to the area.
An environmental scientist with Habitat Environment Management, Ms Arthur identified the site as ecologically significant a year ago and recommended a pending development on the area be stopped.
When Ms Arthur returned to the site earlier this month, she found thousands of fireflies buzzing in the forest.
“After I discovered the site, we underwent vegetation management and weed removal to maintain the area,” she said.
She said biodiversity had “worked its magic” and the site was now a thriving firefly community.
According to Ms Arthur, firefly forests are usually small and sensitive.
“Fireflies are an important eco-indicator and preservation is integral to the broader environment,” she said.
Lois Leevy, from the Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council, Gecko, said the presence of fireflies generally indicated the immediate forest system was quite healthy.
“It’s unusual to see a community of fireflies so close to the CBD,” Ms Leevy said.
“They tend to inhabit bushlands and valleys.”
Ms Arthur said fireflies were quite picky on where they called home.
“The Gold Coast’s sub tropical climate is the perfect breeding conditions for fireflies,” she said.
Ms Arthur said she would continue to preserve the area and maintain the vegetation.
“If people come across fireflies, it’s best to tread carefully and not visit too often,” she said.
“Lest they be crunching on the lady fireflies living in the leaf litter.”
Fireflies start to spark up about this time of the year as they begin their mating season, coinciding with the warmer temperatures.